Reasons to Never Tattoo Your Partner's Name

Ribcage tattoos rank high in popularity, but would you endure the pain of a tattoo gun for a matching couples tattoo?
Ribcage tattoos rank high in popularity, but would you endure the pain of a tattoo gun for a matching couples tattoo?

Tattoos Aren't That Big of a Deal Anymore, Right?


Opinions about tattoos vary with each person. Some see them as art, or a form of self- expression, while others think of tattoos as trashy, and damaging to the body. Thirty years ago many believed that having a tattoo meant you were riffraff. This day and age it is not uncommon to see a person, who is in high rankings with society, be decorated with the colorful ink. Plainly put, looking around in present time, tattoos are no longer a big deal.

After 30 years though, there is still one main area of tattoo ideas that is highly debated. Permanently branding your body with your partner's name, also known as couples tattoos. There are a number of reasons a person may frown upon body art, but this specific topic definitely has more cons than pros. Continue reading before deciding whether you would ever pay the ultimate tattoo cost using your partner's name.


Reasons Not To Commit Tattoo Suicide


Are you, or you and your partner both considering the idea of a name tattoos, be it matching or not? Whether you're dating, engaged or even married, incorporate each scenario into your own life and relationship as you read the list below, and then decide if this is the best tattoo idea for you.

What if we break up? This is the most obvious question to ask yourself, yet one that is often overlooked. Many times in relationships, especially new and fresh ones, you feel as though you'll always be with your partner. You are still in the honeymoon stage, and your feelings for your significant other are strong. It is during this time that you are the most likely to get a new tattoo of your partner's name. Here are five reasons not to commit tattoo suicide.

He thought his wife's name was the best tattoo idea for him...until thier divorce.
He thought his wife's name was the best tattoo idea for him...until their divorce.

1. Just when you were starting to forget.

You finally erased the remaining pictures of your ex from your Facebook page, and their favorite shirt went out with the trash. You're now undressing to take a shower and you glance in the mirror. There, beaming back at you, is a tattoo of a name you had hoped to forget. Congratulations, you will forever be stuck with a permanent reminder of a love gone wrong.

2. Who is that tattoo for?

If the tattoo is visible to others, then you can expect at some point, for someone to ask you to explain the story behind the name. This has a tendency to become embarrassing, as well as a few awkward moments of silence. Even more so if your partner is present, or asked if the name is theirs.

3. Anything is possible, including changing partners.

In all probability, you will eventually start dating someone new. Unless you're reading this hub because you're working on the tattoo of your fourth spouse's name. If so, it's probably safe for you to skip this point. One way to start a relationship off on a bad foot is having to explain this tattoo to your new partner. On top of that, they will have to look at your tattoo more than you will. This can cause resentment, doubts or worse. Another break up.

Having a name tattoo, espcially one of an ex, can cause intimacy problems in your current relationship.
Having a name tattoo, espcially one of an ex, can cause intimacy problems in your current relationship.

4. Intimacy Problems

Depending on the location of your tattoo, (lower stomach, chest, etc.) anyone you become sexually active with after your break up will have to endure looking at your ex's name. This can cause intimacy problems for you both, and even self-esteem issues. You may begin to wonder if your tattoo is the real reason your new partner asks to keep the lights off during intimate times. If you end up opting to get the tattoo removed, or don't even have the tattoo to begin with, and your partner still requests the lights be off, then you're on the wrong hub. Sorry.

5. I can always get it removed.

I strongly advise anyone that's considering getting ink done, regardless if it is a partner's name or not, to research laser removal of a tattoo. In addition to the costs, pain of the procedure(s), and the less than appealing scarring of having your tattoo removed, also comes risks. Even after thousands of dollars, and several laser treatments, it's a possibility that the tattoo still won't be completely gone. More serious risk includes allergic reactions and infections.

Still want to show your love in permanent ink?

If you're like me, and already have a tattoo of someone you're no longer with, it's not the end of the world. You are not necessarily destined for relationship failure from here on out, and it shouldn't stop you from meeting new people. However, I do speak from personal experience when I say that it does take an understanding and strong person to accept the fact. There have been countless jokes at my expense, and at least a million I told you so's, but I'll live, and so will you.

If you are someone that was only considering getting a tattoo of your partner's name, I hope reading this article has made you reevaluate your reasons, and think about the what if's of your future. If you read this hub though, and still can't wait to have your love for your partner permanently branded on your body, then I truly wish you the best of luck.

My ex and I had a long and emotional talk concerning our children, property, and money. You know, the formalities of getting a divorce that no one wants to talk about, but is mandatory. We were finally finishing up when I tried to ease our obvious hurt by jokingly saying, "at least you'll never forget my name, and neither will anyone else that's around when you have your shirt off." Hearing it in my head I thought it was funny, but actually saying it out loud caused us both to immediately tear up. After 9 years together, he knew that I was about to burst into tears, and he came over to hug me before he left. He told me something that I will never forget, and which came to be a piece of advice that I often share with others.

"Minds can never love, and hearts can never learn." - Jacob Hale

Who has a tattoo you ask?

The majority of the statistics below are compliments of vanishingtattoo.com. Check out their site for more tattoo facts and statistics.

1936- Life Magazine- 10 million Americans, or approximately 6% of the population had at least one tattoo.

2000- National Geographic News- 15% of Americans were tattooed, or 40 million people.

2002- Esquire Magazine- 1 in 8 Americans were tattooed.

2003- Harris Poll- 36% of those aged 25-29 had one or more tattoos.

2006- The Journal of the American Society of Dermatology- 24% of Americans between 18-50 were tattooed, which is almost 1 in 4. Thirty-six percent of Americans 18-29 have at least one tattoo.

2008- Harris Poll- 32% of Americans, aged 25-29 with one or more tattoos.

2010- Pew Research Center- 38% of Americans, aged 18-29 have tattoos, and 32% of Americans, aged 30-45 had tattoos.

In 2006, a Harris Poll asked, "Why Regret Getting A Tattoo?" The number one answer with 16% was, "Because of the person's name in the tattoo."

In today's society you can easily get tattoo ideas and inspiration from almost anywhere you look. Before getting a tattoo of your partner's name, or even just to appreciate the art of tattoos, I strongly suggest checking out these 3 books. You can get an awesome deal on them at Amazon!

  • The Mammoth Book of Tattoos
  • Tattoo Johnny: 3,000 Tattoo Designs
  • Vintage Tattoos: The Book of Old-School Skin Art


For more interesting articles and discussions click here.



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Do you have a tattoo you regret? 4 comments

barry 3 years ago

i have not one by two ex girlfiends names on me and i have one of them twice, her initials on my lower arm and full name on my upper arm, i got them done after i split with them because i feel i needed to, care about them a lot and that will never change so i do not and will not ever regret getting them done


Loco Life profile image

Loco Life 5 years ago Author

I completely agree with your 'to each their own' mentality on tattoos. I was actually quite surprised at the lack of factual information on the internet of tats, but again, I guess it's one thing that's not for everyone.

I can also relate to the personal experience that a tattoo is. I got one on my back at 16 years old, and every few years I will add something to it. It has become my charm bracelet if you will, and each piece that's added has a special meaning.

In hindsight, I see my hub mostly portrayed me telling others they shouldn't get their partner's name tattoed on their body. That's not the exact feel I was looking for, but I did want others to see the seriousness of decision, and possible problems they could have in the future. I personally believe tattoos are beautiful, but if they're not for you, then you'll never hear me 'preach' you should get one. Thanks for reading, and for the extended hand. It is much appreciated.

I'm very fickle when it comes to my own tattoo which sports my ex's name. With the color and location, I know I could easily get a cover up tattoo, but after nearly 3 years I haven't. After watching my dad go through the laser removal of nine tattoos down both arms, I never thought I'd get one myself. He said it was one of the most horrific experiences of his life, and I was present for several of his treatments.


mackyxx profile image

mackyxx 5 years ago

I truely love all of my tattoos and could never think of being in a position where I regret them. Its funny - you don't generally see a tattoo'd person asking a person with no tattoos why they don't have any, its normally the other way around. Would I recommend a tattoo? Well..... thats your choice isn't it?

My tattoos are there because I chose them and they mean something to me - each one serving as a little reminder, each one a memory of chapters throughout my life. I would not wish to lose those memories and I would not chose to lose the reminders.

Tattoos are an extremely personal thing and I do not have them to keep others happy (except one on my ankle which I got for my mum because she said she was too scared - but even that was something personal to me) I do not have them because I want to look like someone else. Personally I don't care for people asking 'whats that?' or 'what does that mean?' or 'why did you get that?. I don't care that people don't understand or don't get it.....it's not for them after all.

Love the hub and the time a few have spent on hubbing tattoos. They are certainly not for everyone but once you get one they can be extremely addictive too. Do plan you tattoos well, have a look around, ask a friend who can draw, think about your skin tones and ink colours, do your home work. I always remember one tattoo shop I visited had a large sign behind the counter:

'Cheap work ain't good and good work ain't cheap!'

This can also be true so take heed.

I have had a name or two on my body at some time or another but I have always wanted to take my tattoos further so covering them up was always an option. By having a tattoo that is left 'open' (a design that can be added to or blended into another design) it can always be extended so covering up a name can often be quite simple. Having said that 'cover-ups' are always do-able if you find the right artist....but you might find it'll cost you a little bit more.

Give me a shout if you need any advice.


mackyxx profile image

mackyxx 5 years ago

I truly love all of my tattoos and could never think of being in a position where I regret them. Its funny - you don't generally see a tattoo'd person asking a person with no tattoos why they don't have any, its normally the other way around. Would I recommend a tattoo? Well..... that's your choice isn't it?

My tattoos are there because I chose them and they mean something to me - each one serving as a little reminder, each one a memory of chapters throughout my life. I would not wish to lose those memories and I would not chose to lose the reminders.

Tattoos are an extremely personal thing and I do not have them to keep others happy (except one on my ankle which I got for my mum because she said she was too scared - but even that was something personal to me) I do not have them because I want to look like someone else. Personally I don't care for people asking 'whats that?' or 'what does that mean?' or 'why did you get that?. I don't care that people don't understand or don't get it.....it's not for them after all.

Love the hub and the time a few have spent on hubbing tattoos. They are certainly not for everyone but once you get one they can be extremely addictive too. Do plan you tattoos well, have a look around, ask a friend who can draw, think about your skin tones and ink colours, do your home work. I always remember one tattoo shop I visited had a large sign behind the counter:

'Cheap work ain't good and good work ain't cheap!'

This can also be true so take heed.

I have had a name or two on my body at some time or another but I have always wanted to take my tattoos further so covering them up was always an option. By having a tattoo that is left 'open' (a design that can be added to or blended into another design) it can always be extended so covering up a name can often be quite simple. Having said that 'cover-ups' are always do-able if you find the right artist....but you might find it'll cost you a little bit more.

Give me a shout if you need any advice.

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